Chapter 17.25B


17.25B.010    Purpose.

17.25B.020    Design review.

17.25B.030    Overall WMU district design.

17.25B.040    Transit-supportive design.

17.25B.050    Overall architectural design.

17.25B.055    Residential dwelling units.

17.25B.060    Overall building form.

17.25B.065    Waterfront, port, mixed-use, and transportation related building design.

17.25B.070    Building design.

17.25B.080    Signage.

17.25B.090    Off-street parking—Parking facilities—Lots—Structures.

17.25B.100    Landscape design.

17.25B.110    Pedestrian walkway.

17.25B.010 Purpose.

A.    The purpose of this chapter is to establish design standards and regulations for development in the waterfront mixed-use zoning district. The standards and regulations in this chapter are intended to complement the concepts established in Chapter 17.25, Design Standards for Mixed-Use Development.

B.    For projects in the WMU district, the following design review standards shall apply, with examples depicted in Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guidelines for Mixed-Use Developments. (Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)

17.25B.020 Design review.

Administrative design review will be used by the city to approve development (site plans and architectural designs) in mixed-use districts. The planning director will make urban design decisions based on the following guidelines to promote visual quality in these areas of the city. (Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)

17.25B.030 Overall WMU district design.

A.    Development should create a new diverse and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, with a mix of housing, shopping, workplace and entertainment uses and nodes for transportation access, all within a short walk of each other.

B.    To foster pedestrian usage, sidewalks shall be a minimum of ten feet in width, except when the public works director determines this width is not feasible. Permeable surfaces shall be utilized to the maximum extent feasible.

C.    Properties or development projects abutting major streets in the district should have storefronts with display windows along fifty percent of their facades and the facades should not be plain or sterile but incorporate architectural features, such as windows, entrances, and variations in setback, so that no wall plane is wider or longer than two and one-half times the height of the wall plane.

D.    Front Street is intended to accommodate and foster pedestrian usage in the waterfront mixed-use district. Properties or development projects abutting Front Street shall:

1.    Have a zero setback from the right-of-way and the building shall maintain a continuous frontage along Front Street.

2.    Highway 525 from the railroad bridge north to the water is meant to provide arterial access to Front Street, but should also be pedestrian- and transit-oriented by having either courtyard or building fronting along it.

3.    Breaks in the building are permitted to meet shoreline standards and to encourage pedestrian access into and through projects to the water.

E.    Off-street parking shall either be behind or to the side of development.

1.    A minimum of curb cuts should be allowed along streets for parking access.

2.    Vehicular access to parking lots and garages shall only be permitted along Front Street when there is no other side street or alley access. (Ord. 1390 § 7 (Exh. C) (part), 2016: Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)

17.25B.040 Transit-supportive design.

A station area plan is needed to guide transit and surrounding area uses in the waterfront area. The plan should address land use, access, infrastructure and various modes including pedestrian, bicycle and transit. The multi-modal (intermodal) station should be located to minimize walking distances between transportation modes and transfers between modes and distances to commercial waterfront development. The following uses are encouraged in this transit-oriented district (TOD): small grocery store(s), bakery, convenience-retail, ATMs, coffee shop or stand(s), newsstand, drug store, carry-out food outlets, stationery/gift store, video rental store, dry cleaning outlet, flower shop/florist, beauty shop, barber, and photo-finishing shop. (Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)

17.25B.050 Overall architectural design.

A.    Building design concepts should respond to the site plan by forming street edges and by encouraging active, safe street life offering a variety of activities. Buildings should recognize site patterns and help define entries to interior courtyards, building entrances, and public spaces to encourage family and community activities.

B.    Use architectural styles that are associated with traditional neighborhood design and newer multifamily designs that delineates separation of the units. Commercial architectural styles should mimic the old Main Street concept with architectural context taken from waterfront, northwest timber or historic building designs.

C.    The architectural designs should utilize a variety of roof forms to create diverse elevations. Residential units, office and commercial/retail spaces should overlook the streets and courtyards as part of a unified and defined sense of space.

D.    Parapets, cornices, shed roofs, dormers and other secondary roof forms create variety in the units and break up the massing of the overall buildings. Varied roof heights and roof elements also serve to reinforce the diverse experience of the streetscape. Vertical elements such as bays and decks which sometimes carry to the ground and to upper levels help to create variation in the facade that modulate the building facade.

E.    The materials used in design of the buildings should also reinforce the diverse experience of the elevations. Roof colors should be coordinated to complement the color schemes.

F.    Plaza or courtyard materials can be used to create a community space, through the use of color and scoring as patterns in the hardscape. Landscape creates diversity, provides color and softens the building and hardscape environment, while benches or seating areas, play areas and public art help residents and visitors enjoy the space and environment, making it a place where people want to visit, shop, live and recreate. (Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)

17.25B.055 Residential dwelling units.

Multifamily residences are subject to the following stipulations:

A.    No single-family residence shall be located north or northwest of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks;

B.    Multifamily residences shall be allowed as an accessory use, provided they are combined with either retail, service, professional offices or other permitted commercial uses;

C.    Dwelling units shall be located only above commercial, office or parking uses in the WMU zone. Living quarters located on the street level shall be located behind the commercial use of the structure; and

D.    Single-family and multifamily residences that existed prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter may be altered; provided, that no additional dwellings units are created unless combined with commercial uses in accordance with the provisions of this section. (Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)

17.25B.060 Overall building form.

Buildings should provide and enhance the pedestrian scale and orientation of the district. The following concepts help to achieve that goal:

A.    Buildings should be built to the property line or right-of-way easement to enclose a pedestrian-oriented landscape. Pedestrian-oriented amenities are important. When development accommodates specific pedestrian activities, the setback may vary up to twenty feet with city approval, if the space is planned for outdoor dining associated with an eating establishment, recessed plaza or specific district design standards or landscape needs. The setback cannot be used for parking. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 1: Overall Form, Guideline 6: Street Walls and Guideline 7: Ground Floor Transparency.

B.    Buildings should utilize elements such as massing, materials, windows, canopies and articulated roof forms to create a visually distinct “base” as well as a “cap.”

C.    Within larger projects, variations in facades, floor levels, architectural features and exterior finishes are encouraged to create the appearance of several smaller buildings. Upper stories shall be articulated with features such as bays and balconies. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 8: Encouraging Varied Detail, and Guideline 9: Small Scale Building Increments.

D.    Special attention should be given to designing a primary building entrance, once that is clearly visible from the street and incorporates changes in mass, surface, or finish to give emphasis.

E.    Corner and public buildings because of location, purpose or size should be given special attention in the form of building features, such as towers, cupolas, and pediments.

F.    The development of ground level view points and corridors as well as public balconies, and roof spaces which take advantage of solar access and views are encouraged.

G.    Minor pedestrian passages shall be provided between buildings where access is needed to allow pedestrians to move through the district to another. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 4: Minor Pedestrian Passages. (Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)

17.25B.065 Waterfront, port, mixed-use, and transportation related building design.

Development on the waterfront shall be designed in the following context:

A.    Building design needs to reflect historic waterfront materials and building designs which were of a smaller scale, two-story designs with cornice lines or similar to shipping warehouse uses. Corporate, private development and agency architecture will need to accommodate these historic values and assist in maintaining a small community feel of the early 1900s.

B.    Sites or buildings abutting or facing the multi-modal station should maintain a continuity in design elements of the station such as roof lines and materials, and connect existing or proposed pedestrian spaces and amenities and landscape treatments.

C.    Building facades along Front Street shall be pedestrian-oriented with the majority of the street wall being made up of windows and other interesting design features and businesses that are interactive retail should be promoted (i.e., artist studio and gallery, hands-on displays or merchandise, etc.).

D.    The multi-modal station, transportation and port related facility designs should be compatible with local plans and regulations, and must be approved by the city. Station design should address all transportation modes (ferry, rail, bus, bicycle and vehicles), transfer needs and pedestrians. (Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)

17.25B.070 Building design.

A.    Architectural Details. The following architectural elements are required to provide visual interest and create a sense of human scale:

1.    Building facades along Front Street shall be pedestrian-oriented with the majority of the street wall being made up of windows and other interesting design features and businesses that are interactive retail should be promoted (i.e., artist studio and gallery, hands-on displays or merchandise, etc.).

2.    Awnings, Sunshades and Canopies. Weather protection is encouraged for pedestrian street frontages with ground floor commercial. The minimum width of such elements shall be four feet. Minimum height is eight feet, maximum height is twelve feet. Awnings with painted signs are permitted, however, must be externally lit. Internally illuminated awnings are not permitted. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 10: Weather Protection.

3.    Front Porches. Front porches, stoops, bay windows and dormers are encouraged on buildings which contain residential dwellings.

4.    Trees, Plants and Flowers. The use of potted plants and flowers as well as street trees is encouraged, but shall not impede pedestrian traffic.

5.    Street Furniture. Public seating, trash receptacles and informational directional kiosks should be of uniform design and be provided throughout district where needed. Sidewalk widths, street trees, landscaping, weather protection, public art, street furniture and other amenities for pedestrians in public rights-of-way and public plazas which are required and are abutted by private development shall provide an additional three feet to six feet for a total sidewalk width of no less than eight feet. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 5: Pedestrian-Oriented Streetscapes.

6.    Exterior Lighting. Pedestrian areas need to be well marked and well-lit. Exterior lighting should be an integral part of the architecture and landscape design. Street lighting shall relate in scale to the pedestrian character of the area. Pedestrian lighting shall be provided at a pedestrian scale of three to twelve feet, with the source light being shielded to reduce glare, thereby encouraging safe access to these areas twenty-four hours per day. Overall, lighting and pedestrian zone lighting is needed but shall not create glare or light spillage off site or beyond parking lots and streets. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 3: Lighting Pedestrian Zone.

B.    Building Fenestration.

1.    Facades. Any facade visible from a public right-of-way, pedestrian corridor or public open space shall incorporate fenestration. Fenestration patterns for street level uses should have generous amounts of clear glass and be designed to incorporate displays. Glass curtain walls, reflective glass, and painted or dark tinted glass are not permitted. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 7: Ground Floor Transparency.

2.    Blank Walls. Where windowless walls are necessitated by the uses housed within the building, they shall have an interesting exterior treatment such as artwork, decorative tile, or masonry, or trellises with plant material. Blank walls visible from a public way, larger than ten feet in any dimension, which exceed two hundred square feet, must be screened by one of the above methods. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 21: Blank Walls.

3.    Street Visibility. Upper and lower story windows are encouraged to overlook streets and open spaces, thereby helping to provide “community eyes” to make these spaces more comfortable and safe. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 11: Design for Pedestrian Safety.

C.    Proportions. The scale of all structures in relationship to other structures and spaces is important. Buildings and the spaces between should relate easily and openly to the external public areas. To balance horizontal features on longer facades, vertical building elements, such as building entries, should be emphasized.

D.    Modulation. Building facades visible from public rights-of-way, pedestrian corridors or public open space, except for ground floor commercial, shall be modulated approximately every forty feet. The modulation shall have a minimum depth of four feet.

E.    Articulation. Facades should be varied and articulated to provide visual interest to pedestrians. The roof line of buildings should be modulated and should include interesting architectural features, such as decorative eave, trim, or cornice. Window articulation through use of a decorative trim, such as window hoods and the use of smaller regularly spaced windows in upper stories with smaller divided lights. Storefront designs and materials should be allowed to be unique while maintaining the character of the building facade of which they are a part. The base of buildings should be articulated through use of plinths, pilasters or other elements.

F.    Materials and Colors. Exterior building materials and finishes should convey an impression of permanence and durability. Materials such as masonry, stone, stucco, wood, terra cotta, and tile are encouraged. Where masonry is used for exterior finish, decorative patterns should be considered. These patterns could include a change in color or material. Exterior colors should be given careful consideration in the context of the surrounding buildings and environment.

G.    Screening.

1.    All wall-mounted mechanical, electrical, communication, and service equipment, including satellite dishes and vent pipes, shall be screened from public view by parapets, walls, fences, landscaping or other approved means.

2.    All rooftop and sidewall mechanical equipment and other extensions allowed above the building height shall be concealed by or integrated within the roof form or screened from view. The following appurtenances or necessary extensions above the roofline that require screening include: stair wells, elevator shafts, air conditioning units, large vents, heat pumps and mechanical equipment.

3.    Service and loading areas must be screened from street and pedestrian ways. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 12: Screening Utility Equipment and Services.

H.    Parks and Open Space. Mixed-use developments will provide twenty percent in parks and open space. Plazas, play areas, landscape buffers and open spaces (sensitive areas) can be included. Ten percent of the area shall be active open space, such as parks, plazas and play areas. Low-impact development BMPs may be counted as passive open space. Pedestrian and bicycle paths and connections are required within the development and shall be provided to the closest activity areas (i.e., schools, business area, park, major arterial, etc.). See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 19: Parks and Open Space. (Ord. 1390 § 7 (Exh. C) (part), 2016; Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)

17.25B.080 Signage.

A.    Signage throughout the waterfront area should be consistent, while public transportation signage should have its own character but which is complementary to signage for private development, other public transportation or facility design and to building character.

B.    Windows along Front Street may have painted or etched lettering above seven feet as signage for the business.

C.    Where possible, signs should be an integral part of the building rather than an afterthought. Wall-mounted signs shall not project more than six inches from the building.

D.    Sign creativity is encouraged. Signs may be fabricated of mixed media, including metal reverse-illuminated letters, suspended neon letters, illuminated individual letters, signs etched or cutout of solid material such as wood or brass and illuminated from behind.

E.    Building-mounted or wall signs for retail shops and commercial area shall be located in the storefront area above the door height and below canopy (typically eight feet above floor).

F.    Signs shall be centered between architectural elements and between columns to allow building architecture to be expressed. Signs shall not necessarily be centered on lease premises.

G.    Signs shall be compatible in scale and proportion with building design and other signs.

H.    Signage shall be placed facing primary pedestrian streets.

I.    Overhanging, building-mounted or blade signs which hang from the canopy, arcade or building front may be utilized to increase visibility. Overhanging signs shall not have an area of more than three square feet or exceed two inches in thickness. Overhanging signs area is not included in signage area allowed under the sign code. The bottom of the sign shall not be lower than eight feet aboveground.

J.    Letter height shall not exceed eighteen inches. Larger first letters up to twenty-four inches will be permitted.

K.    Length of the sign shall not be more than two-thirds of the overall “leased” facade area or less than three feet from demising wall of lease premises. Each sign is calculated separately and shall conform to all applicable maximum area limitations. Calculated maximum areas are not transferable to other facades. Each tenant is allowed to place signage on no more than two facades.

L.    Awnings with signs painted on them are allowed, but the awnings cannot be internally illuminated.

M.    Monument signs and wall signs cannot be internally illuminated. (Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)

17.25B.090 Off-street parking—Parking facilities—Lots—Structures.

A.    Off-street parking in commercial areas shall either be behind or to the side of development with ground-floor retail along the street frontage.

B.    Structured parking is encouraged to maximize development potential in this relatively small, narrow waterfront mixed-use district.

C.    Shared or joint parking is encouraged south of Front Street so that parking needs generated by development north of Front Street can be accommodated outside the shoreline zone of two hundred feet from the ordinary high tide.

D.    A minimum of curb cuts should be allowed along Front Street for parking access.

E.    Adjacent street frontage to commercial properties can be counted on a one-to-one basis towards the parking requirement on streets that are improved and have designated parking.

F.    Two parking spaces for each two-bedroom and larger residential dwelling unit and one and one-half parking space for each studio and one-bedroom units, and one guest space per every four units shall be provided on site. Parking for the commercial/retail/office space shall be determined using the parking matrix contained in Chapter 17.56, Off-Street Parking.

G.    Employee parking shall be provided on site, or as part of a shared parking agreement or at a parking structure.

H.    Joint or shared access, and off-street parking, internal circulation or parking is encouraged with adjacent uses.

I.    A development can reduce the required off-street parking spaces up to fifty percent when it can be demonstrated, in a parking-traffic study, prepared by a traffic engineer, that use of transit or demand management programs, special characteristics or customer, client, employee or resident population will reduce expected vehicle use and parking space demand for their development, as compared to standard Institute of Transportation Engineers vehicle trip generation rates and city parking requirements.

J.    Parking lots shall have internal landscaping as well as be screened from streets and pedestrian ways. (See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guidelines 22: Parking Lots—Landscape Design and 23: Pedestrian Environment—Screening Parking Lots.)

K.    Parking garages shall be screened to improve the pedestrian environment in mixed-use zones. (See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 24: Pedestrian Environment—Screening Parking Garages.)

L.    Parking Facilities—Lots—Structures for Transit.

1.    Long-term (eight plus hours), single-occupant vehicle, commuter parking near station is to be discouraged five years after commuter rail is operational.

2.    Provide close-in (near multi-modal station) preferential parking for carpools and vanpools.

3.    Joint and shared parking are encouraged among retail, office, entertainment, housing, tourist, marina and parking uses (day/night, weekend/weekday, and seasonal (June to September and October to May)) to promote maximum use of parking in the waterfront use district by all users.

4.    Park and ride spaces serving the commuter rail, ferry and bus activities should not be permitted in the multi-modal station area (majority of district) after three to five years or when there is full development and operation of these integrated modes.

5.    Park and ride lot(s) shall not exceed the requirements proposed for commuter rail or bus, and park and ride shall not be larger than eighty parking spaces, unless the lot is for shared parking or is converted to a parking garage with retail space fronting Front Street.

6.    Bike racks and weatherproof lockers for bicycles should be provided at the multi-modal station and commuter rail platform.

7.    Well defined pedestrian walkways should be provided in parking lots and around the multi-modal station from parking to building, ferry loading, and commuter rail platform. (Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)

17.25B.100 Landscape design.

The waterfront area has the potential of suffering from large paved areas causing temperatures to rise during warmer months, from having declining air quality due to increased transportation uses, and from appearing to be a vast wasteland of parking lots. Vegetation and trees can help mitigate these conditions, by providing shade that will lower temperatures, and by helping to clean the air. Landscaping should use native vegetation where possible.

A.    Parking areas shall have one tree per every four parking stalls or trees between every two to four ferry loading lanes. (See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 22: Parking Lots.)

B.    Parking areas must be screened from all pedestrian-oriented areas through the use of trees, shrubs, walls and/or trellis structures with plants. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 22: Parking Lots—Landscape Design.

C.    Parking lots shall provide landscaping next to buildings and along walkways. Parking lots shall provide enough trees so that fifty percent of the lot is shaded within a five-year period and landscape beds have a ninety percent ground coverage in five years.

D.    Arbors or trellises supporting living landscape materials should be considered for ornamentation on exterior walls. Any such feature shall cover an area of at least one hundred square feet and include sufficient plantings to achieve at least thirty percent coverage by plant materials within three years.

E.    Where pedestrian activity is encouraged onto the site, the screening does not have to be sight obscuring.

F.    Utilities are required to be underground and aboveground equipment shall be located away from major pedestrian streets and corners. Equipment boxes and vaults must be placed in back of the sidewalk and where landscaping can minimize or screen their impact. See Exhibit C of Ordinance 948, Guideline 12: Screening Utility Equipment and Services. (Ord. 1390 § 7 (Exh. C) (part), 2016: Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)

17.25B.110 Pedestrian walkway.

Pedestrian ways, a waterfront promenade, and beach walk are to provide for maximum pedestrian accessibility along the waterfront. The intent of the waterfront promenade is to have a walkway/boardwalk or beach access from the lighthouse to the eastside of the tank farm/Everett city limits.

A.    All new development shall have a minimum setback of thirty feet from riprap or from a newly established beach, and shall incorporate twenty-five feet of pedestrian amenities that conform to the waterfront promenade standards or provide access to the beach.

B.    Breaks between buildings shall be provided to facilitate access to the water.

C.    Linking 2nd Street to the water, with emphasis on a pedestrian overpass and walkway improvements, should be encouraged. The design of an overpass shall be approved by the city.

D.    Sidewalks along Front Street shall be a minimum of ten feet. Other sidewalks in the WMU area shall be no less than five feet. (Ord. 1390 § 7 (Exh. C) (part), 2016: Ord. 1302 § 11 (Exh. E) (part), 2012)